Thursday is GURPSDay, and well, things got a bit nuts, so it’s a day late again. Good thing I’m going back three weeks at a time! Alas, as you can see, no blogging this week.

Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • The first edition of Hall of Judgment hardcover is on sale for 50% off at both the Gaming Ballistic store and Warehouse 23. Pick it up for $12.50.
  • The Citadel at Nordvorn, Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling print books US arrival schedule is now really really set, since the ship sailed from the UK on July 17 with the books aboard. If everything goes to plan, they’ll be arriving at Studio 2 for distribution/US fulfillment Aug 13-14 unless we get either lucky or unlucky.
  • Art is starting to really flow in for all five Perilous Journeys, and they’re still available for pre-order. Contracted and approved the cover sketch for Vampire Hunter Belladonna, the 32-page solo adventure currently being written by David Pulver. The cover for Ironskull Castle got final sketch approval and Juan expects it to be done this weekend.
  • Overall, I am still hopeful to send out preview PDFs of at least four, if not five, adventures. Some will be lacking in art more than others, but all will be playable.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! June 28 to July 19, 2019”

Thursday is GURPSDay, and it’s on time this week!

Still hoping things are headed in a “calming down” direction that will let me return to some actual blogging. Ask me again next week.

Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top! We see the return of Shooting Dice these last three weeks, so that’s great news for fans of Hans-Christian Vortisch.

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • The first edition of Hall of Judgment hardcover is on sale for 50% off at both the Gaming Ballistic store and Warehouse 23. Pick it up for $12.50.
  • The Citadel at Nordvorn, Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling print books US arrival schedule is set, with August 5 being the date they should arrive at Studio 2 in TN, and thus folks “should” have their stuff in hand by maybe Aug 21 or sooner.
  • Art is starting to really flow in for all five Perilous Journeys, and they’re still available for pre-order. Contracted and approved the cover sketch for Vampire Hunter Belladonna, the 32-page solo adventure currently being written by David Pulver.
  • I discussed project schedules for the next two DFRPG items with SJG
  • I had a VERY good CONVergence, at minimum breaking even, and scoring my first big retail order from a local buyer while I was there. Great fun.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! June 21 to July 11, 2019”

So, my first ever convention as a dealer has come and gone: CONVergence 2019. I’m going to rapid-fire my impressions. I’ll upload pictures later.

Logistics, Set-up, Take-Down

So, I’m local, which is one of the reasons I picked this one. But even with that, I have to say: for a new venue, these guys had stuff down cold. It helps that my setup needs were light.

Even so, I showed up with my inventory and booth gear, with hand-truck in the car. Didn’t need it. Pull up to the garage, a staff of folks with pallet jacks show up and whisk your stuff to your booth, you depart and park.

I was the first in line to take-down, too. And when I walked up at exactly 4:01pm and said “I’m ready,” so were they. I was in my car on my way home by 4:15pm. So while more elaborate booths (like the poor folks who brought in a virtual mountain of etched-glass mugs) I’m sure took longer, folks with a limited presence like myself was nearly frictionless. 10/10, can recommend, etc.

Setup for me was, as noted, easy. I was fairly well prepared given I had only six products for sale.

Sales and Performance

Booth fees were $265, and of course I spent some money getting durable set-up stuff, like inventory stands and a banner.

I was, I believe, one of the only, if not the only, vendors of pure RPG material there. If you wanted gaming stuff, you pretty much chatted with me.

Mostly, folks walked on by. It’s a Sci-Fi convention, not a RPG one. Total sales were $380 . . . so I probably broke even.

I did, however, give out a LOT of business cards, and made a very important contact at The Source. After the Con, I drove there and I do expect that we’ll start having them stock my stuff. The numbers I was told in terms of “sure, we’ll take X of each” would more than double my sales even at the retail discount. Others might buy shields, though I doubt it – they’re expensive – and still more will browse my store and maybe pick up a PDF or two.

So: financially, break-even to win. Not “wow, I need to do this every month” win. But “did not lose money” win.

Note: this would not be true with an out-of-town convention. Had the same volume been had at GameHole Con or some other place, it would have been a loss. That being said, a dedicated RPG con would have had fewer people just walk by.

Biggest seller, in terms of quantity and funds, for the con? Much to my surprised pleasure, Dragon Heresy hardbacks. I also moved one copy of Lost Hall of Tyr 2nd edition, and a pair of Dungeon Grappling.

Product Mix

As noted, Dragon Heresy is a pretty book with a compelling pitch to those that are open to it. More old-school deadliness, less-silly reliance on hit point ablation, and chock full of viking goodness. I don’t need a high penetration of folks that want just a bit of a different 5e experience to do very well with that product.

I also had the Dungeon Fantasy RPG on display, but not for sale. Mostly so I could point to Nordvorn and Hall of Judgment and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling and say “THESE go with THIS.”

Had I had boxes to sell, though, or TFT to sell . . . I’m betting I could have sold a few. “I don’t have anything to play it with” turns in to “Play it with this!”

Hits and Misses

I could probably have sold a lot of memberships to Asfolk while I was there, had I had cards. I did break even, or make money, so that’s a win. Getting there, setting up, running the booth, and teardown were easy and were not an obstacle to fun.

I spent a lot of time on Saturday painting my most-authentic viking shield with milk-based white paint. This drew much interest and good conversation was had. Doing it dressed in authentic mail lent a degree of cosplay and “I’m one of you” authenticity to the thing that was well received, and a few folks even took pictures. Were I to go whole-hog and up my Viking game, it would be well received.

What could be improved for next time?

  • This is a heavy sci-fi and pop culture show. Had I had physical product to move – even not my own – I’d have done much better.
  • Next year, I know exactly what do to with some physical product, and I think I can make it happen fairly easily. Not tellin’, though.
  • I brought way too much inventory. Next time, I’ll limit my supply to make it even easier to come and go. If it looks like I’m going to run out of something, I’ll bring more from home. Or even the car. But Even ten of each of six products, which would likely fit in just a few boxes, would work
  • More stuff. Next year I’ll have at least the five new TFT products, and maybe two more DFRPG ones. More Dragon Heresy support would be good, and I had a request for what will make a nice short supplement that can probably be cross-ported into other games as well.
  • Staff. There was me and my kids, who were mostly bored, but well-behaved. With at least one more adult, I could have walked the floor and seen a few panels or other participatory things. As it was, my feet were nailed to the floor in the booth for four days straight.
  • Demos and games. This ties in with “staff,” but there IS an RPG conclave of games at CONVergence, and having folks running my stuff for me while I work the booth would be a huge improvement. I’m sure if SJG showed up with MiBs, and I had TFT and Dungeon Fantasy RPG boxed sets to sell, plus my own material, there would be a wonderful synergy there.

Overall, the convention was fun. They usually are. I talked games with a lot of folks, painted my shield, sold some stuff, and handed out a lot of cards. I might try Con of the North or another dedicated RPG convention instead of, or in addition to, CONVergence to see if my theories are correct.

Cosplay and Visual Appeal

Lots of good costume play here, though I didn’t see many full-dress folks from the Manticorian (Manticoran?) Navy – from the Honor Harrington series – there this year like I did last year. Still, some great costumes on display.

 

It’s been a bit since I provided an update, so here we go.

At the high level, the Four (Five!) Perilous Journeys Kickstarter is chugging along, on budget, on schedule, and making progress. Backerkit is moving along, pre-orders are a bit light, and the art that’s coming in is really blowing my socks off.

Shipping

International shipping still scares the pants off me. That being said, I have made a few adjustments I wanted to cover (again, really: I mentioned it in a prior update).

If you’re shipping game accessories to Canada, instead of having the orders ship from the UK, they’ll ship from the US. This avoids weird questions with taxes and VAT from the UK side and saves Canucks a few bucks.

If you’re shipping books only, which are not taxed, they’ll still come from the UK.

Otherwise, I sent the list of international shipments to my fulfillment partner and he pre-calculated what I was going to likely owe given where we were on things, and basically I’ve gotten the shipping essentially correct. I’m not hundreds or thousands of dollars over or under for the international shipping, which is what I was afraid of. Under because that would turn a successful project into a very painful one, and I don’t want to do that. Over because shipping is not supposed to be a profit center. If one includes the money it will take to get the accessories over to the UK in the first place . . . I may be within a few tens of dollars of “exactly right.” So booyah. That’s good and right.

Backerkit Progress, Funding, and Spending

We’re really doing very well. We’re well over 90% and have been for a bit, and have brought in as I type this about $8,600 in extra revenue, with 93% of backers having responded to the survey. In truth, about half of the 37 folks who haven’t yet responded aren’t receiving any products that are set to ship, so unless they wish to engage in a pledge adjustment or throw down some add-ons, they’ll get what they paid for.

It looks like we’re linearizing to about $9,000 to $9,100 in total extra funds, which means overall, the Kickstarter probably brought in close to $50K at the top line. That’s rather nice.

I’ve done a preliminary tally, and total revenue (less Kickstarter fees) will be around $45,000 – $9K from Backerkit and $36K from Kickstarter. I’ve paid a bunch of bills so far and I project having anywhere from $25-29K left to spend. That will leave me with actual profit for the campaign, plus the distribution sales that hopefully will come once the print versions go into retail stores.

So the trajectory is good, though of course in business there’s always room to screw things up.

Pre-Orders thus far are pretty light. Hopefully folks will see this update who missed the Kickstarter and jump in.

Covers

Mostly you’ve seen these, I think. But three of the five covers are basically finished.

I’m working with my artists on the last two covers; I will likely tweak each one out a bit more to ensure maximum readability and uniformity of presentation: logo sizes and position, etc.

Interior

I’m starting to see interior art come in, but that’s a bit of the long pole in the tent. One of the long poles.

The art here is by Ben Jan, who also did the covers of Crown (this book) and Curse. I’ve engaged Sandrine Malus to balance out a few more pieces in Crown, which will effectively finish the book save for title page credits, playtester credits, ISBN, and some map tweaks.

Citadel of Ice will have the interior art done last…but see below for progress on the counters.

Pirate King has been commissioned and is being worked; I need to get in touch with the artist for Ironskull, which though the first finished is the last to be worked from an art perspective.

Vampire Hunter Belladonna transitioned to the writing rather than outlining stage in the last week or so.

Counter Art

I got some updates from Rick (Citadel of Ice) on the die-cut color counter art. Holy wow.

I’ll just leave a few examples here, and then sign off. If you are inspired to jump in now, having missed the campaign . . . it’s not to late to pre-order.

Thursday is GURPSDay, and I’m getting it on Thursday, but I did miss last week.

I’m hoping things are headed in a “calming down” direction that will let me return to some actual blogging. I don’t know if I can see the end yet, but maybe. Maybe.

Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • The first edition of Hall of Judgment hardcover is on sale for 50% off at both the Gaming Ballistic store and Warehouse 23. Pick it up for $12.50.
  • The Citadel at Nordvorn, Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling print books have begun arriving at their destinations overseas. I expect it’ll be 4-5 weeks to get to the US fulfillment center, and then 1-2 weeks to arrive. Getting close to having that one done.
  • The Four Perilous Journeys project is starting to pick up steam now that the funds are in my account. All four originally-planned adventures are done with layout and playtest is underway. The art is rolling. Three of four covers are done. Momentum momentum momentum.
  • I posted preliminary cover art for the next DFRPG project: The Dragons of Rosgarth. Commentary has been favorable.
  • Gaming Ballistic will be at CONVergence – with my very own table! – July 4-7 in Minneapolis. Come visit.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! June 7 to June 27, 2019”

The crowdfunding campaign for “Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip” closed on June 8. It hit 250% funding and smashed my previous records for both backers and funds raised.

If you missed the campaign, or wanted to join in but could not . . .it’s not too late.

The Pre-Order Store for Four Perilous Journeys is open

Everything that was available during the campaign can be had in the pre-order store, plus a lot more besides.

 

The first 3rd-party licensed product for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG is on sale until I run out (there are only 50 or so copies left) for the same price as the PDF: $12.50.

This doesn’t have some errata fixes, and the maps are the older style instead of the upgraded Glynn Seal maps.

Hall of Judgment (Softcover Print for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG)

Thursday is GURPSDay, and I’m getting it on Thursday, as Odin intended,  this week!

Still a bunch of new stuff, and three new blogs on the list, so scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random, so at least one of the new folks is near the bottom this week). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • I received the advance copies of The Citadel at Nordvorn and Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition in hand today. They are VERY pretty. If you didn’t get them, well...it’s actually not too late…but in 24 hours, it might be. They arrive in the UK in the next day or two!
  • My new venture, Four Perilous Journeys, surged to over $40,000 and 608 Backers in Kickstarter, both new records for me. Now it’s full speed ahead and I hope to open Backerkit as soon as possible.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! May 24 to June 13, 2019”

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As a Strange Dr once said: “We’re in the Endgame now.”

Oh: that may have been a spoiler.

In any case, I got the advance copies of Citadel and HoJ (2nd Edition) yesterday.

These are freakin’ gorgeous books. I’m super-proud of Citadel, and I hope you guys enjoy the heck out of it.

Enough back-patting: here are a few pictures.

All three books, in advance-copy form
All three books, in advance-copy form
Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, Citadel at Nordvorn,  Hall of Judgment (1e), and Hall of Judgment (2nd Edition) spine view
Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, Citadel at Nordvorn, Hall of Judgment (1e), and Hall of Judgment (2nd Edition) spine view
Map and Artist's Take on Longbru; Sewn binding visible.
Map and Artist’s Take on Longbru; Sewn binding visible.
Interior shot of Hall of Judgment 2e
Interior shot of Hall of Judgment 2e
Lay-flat binding!
Lay-flat binding!
Close-up of stitching. Should be robust.
Close-up of stitching. Should be robust.

And lastly, a parting shot of the two 128-page Norðlond books.

They should arrive in the UK maybe by the end of the week. I expect few shennanigans with getting them into the UK from Latvia, since books are 0% VAT and Latvia and the UK are easy relatively speaking. I’ve shipped bookmarks to Kixto from the US – I could not guarantee that the printer I had in the UK would produce product that would work with a dry-erase marker – and they should arrive June 18.

Shipping to international customers will be done within a few days after that; 1-8 weeks for delivery depending on the fortunes of shipping and travel.

Then the remainder of the books will be transported to Studio 2 in TN for fulfillment. Two weeks or less from arrival to books-in-hand.

Endgame.

I sent out a LOT of updates over the last few days. But this one is the best.

Thank you. We broke all my records that really matter this campaign: most backers (608 vs 600), most funding ($40,108!).

The trajectory of the campaign is something I’ll mull over and study a lot once I get my ducks in a row on producing five books, five token sheets, and a card deck all at once.

The relatively boring pledge curve, up to the campaign re-orientation, was a forceful lesson in what the TFT fans want in their product mix, at least (a) for Kickstarters, and (b) for Kickstarters being run simultaneously with a hugely successful OTHER Kickstarter from SJG!

In any case: Here’s the key bits of the schedule I’ll be trying to hit for you guys:

  • Kickstarter Ends June 8
  • Backerkit Opens June 25
  • Backerkit Ends July 8
  • Distribute PDFs End July
  • Files to Printer mid-August
  • Ship International end of September
  • Final Arrival end of October

The addition of the card decks and fifth adventure really pushed my schedule to the far side of “October,” and I’ll see where, if anywhere, I can accelerate to have more slack. But I need to give the artists time to do their thing properly, and David needs time to write Vampire Hunter Belladonna. Life may happen…but I’ll try and keep it tight, and you know you’ll be kept well informed.